Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis told the media on Wednesday that he would retire after the season is over. Lewis, who is putting the wraps on his 17th season, said that he intends to play Sunday in the AFC Wild card game against the Indianapolis Colts after missing most of the season with a torn triceps.
"I talked to my team today," Lewis said Wednesday, via the AP report. "I talked to them about life in general. And everything that starts has an end. For me, today, I told my team that this will be my last ride."
Lewis reportedly wants to spend more time with his family and watch his son Ray Lewis III play next year as a freshman at his alma mater, the University of Miami.
Lewis was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2000, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl, and in 2003. He was also named the Super Bowl MVP in 2000. In addition to those honors Lewis was a 13-time Pro Bowler and a 7-time First-Team All-Pro.
Lewis played in 27 regular season games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and recorded 242 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles in those games according to research. The Ravens were 12-15 in those games. In three playoff games against the Steelers Lewis had 28 total tackles and 3 forced fumbles, but the Ravens were 0-3 in those games.
Although Lewis was a player that many Steelers fans hated, he was a player that you always hated the Steelers to play against. He will easily be a first ballot Hall-of-Famer when eligible. If you are a true football fan you know that what Lewis accomplished for so many years is something that will be hard for others to duplicate.
Today we Steelers fans must put our differences aside and tip our hats to Lewis.